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Does your car have unrepaired safety recalls? There's a new, easy way to find out

Posted at 6:29 PM, Nov 17, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-19 21:08:27-05
We're hearing a lot about car safety recalls lately. But 37 million of us aren't getting them fixed.
 
That's how many open recalls exist in cars on roads around the country. And in used car lots.
 
We found a 2008 Hyundai accent for sale on a Phoenix lot.
 
I asked the salesperson if there were any known safety issues. He says other than a vibration problem that can be fixed, there were no issues.
 
But we knew the car had two unfixed recalls that "could increase the risk of a crash."
 
At another location, we found a Chevy Cobalt with an unrepaired ignition recall.
 
The notice says it could allow the car to "roll away."
 
The salesman said he didn't know if the recall had been fixed on the car. And by law, he doesn't have to know.
 
While new car dealers must take care of unrepaired recalls, used car dealers don't have to.
 
So, before you buy, you must check the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and look for any open recalls.
 
But we found even owners didn't know about unfixed recalls, on their own cars!
 
I took Chris Basso of Carfax.com to a parking lot in Phoenix.
 
We went car to car looking for these open recalls.
 
How did we know?
 
Basso has a new Carfax app that uses license plate numbers to list any recalls that haven not been repaired.
 
And we found plenty.
 
We surprised 4 owners with unrepaired safety issues on their cars. One of them went back 10 years!
 
The app is free and easy.
 
You only have to enter your license plate number and email address. Then it will keep track of recalls you may have missed.
 
When you find one, take your car to your dealer and they should repair it for free.
 
And because auto shops and state agencies share information with Carfax, you can also see oil change dates and whether your car registration has expired. We found even more people with expired registrations.
 
You can download the app at mycarfax.com.
 
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